One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."


I admit, I had a rather mellow morning, sort of an exchange to having been woken so awfully early by my kitty. I had a nice soak in the hot tub and then caught Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on HBO. It turns out it may’ve been a mistake to see the movie just hours before getting my hands on the final book in the Potter series, since I had almost NO memory of the movie.

While I was busy at that, the sun was working to thin out some of those clouds, so it was almost sunny when I finally got myself motivated to get some weeding done.

I decided to try the dandelion tool on this nasty witch grass. I should have known better, but on my first few attempts at eradicating this, I was just pulling this stuff out of the garden bed, without being very careful about it. I got lots of roots, but some were breaking off…and that breeds a sort of Sorceror’s Apprentice scenario: for every bit you yank out, two new bits pop up elsewhere.

The tool let me loosen the soil down deep around the grass roots without disturbing the flower seedlings which are also now sprouted in this bed around the lamp post. Most of the grass came out pretty effortlessly.

As I worked at the grass removal, there were long, distant rolls of thunder shaking the air. It seemed to be getting a little closer as I finished the lamp post bed (my minimum goal for the day), so rather than continue throughout the bed, I decided to get some more seeds planted: squash/zucchini seeds for the Three Sisters garden[78y87tttttttttttt…as a cat crosses the keyboard]and some California Giant zinnias throughout the fence garden.

While I was working, Sophie’s Dad called my attention across the street to a pink lily that’d come into bloom in his yard this morning. Purty, ain’t it?

Although I was pretty sure there was a storm headed our way, the grass weeding had caused me to churn up some soil which had then dried in the sun. For the seedlings still in the beds, I watered the bed to keep them growing well…and was just finishing that up when the thunder and lightning got close enough to send me inside.

This was a pretty satisfying thunderer and was accompanied with some seriously torrential downpours, though fortunately none of the hail they were reporting on TV across the bay. But rain we had plenty of; in fact, this was the first time I’ve seen the garden beds flood seriously in a while.

Fortunately, all those plants are thirsty little green monsters and so within a few minutes of the rain tapering off, the standing water was soaking in nicely.

When the rain started up again a few minutes later, I just couldn’t watch any longer and so I drove to Dairy Queen and took a Peanut Buster parfait to the beach parking lot, where I watched the lightning dance across Nantucket Sound as the storm moved east.

Naturally, the best lightning happened while I was nose deep in my ice cream and by the time I had hands free for the camera, the most exciting bit of this storm had passed by.

There was another round of lightning without rain that followed my return home, but after that the clouds seemed to break up a bit and we had a little sunshine shining through here and there.


Big surprise waiting for me there in the spotty sunshine: look what this first sunflower is preparing to do! I can’t believe it’s going to bloom already. Not only is there this big perfect-looking bud, but there’s also no fewer than eight others going down the stalk beneath this first one. Wow!

Several of them seem to be making ready to bloom, actually. I love this one’s spikey dangerous look. Looks more like some kind of green spider instead of a sunflower.

Here’s what happened when I crumbled some old hot dog buns and set them out in the side yard. A few smaller birds came by, a crow and then later a grackle. And one seagull circled around and then landed on the roof of the house. He seemed to retract his neck, giving himself a squatter appearance. Perhaps squatter is how he felt, since we usually just see this guys flying by high overhead. Maybe he was deferring to the resident birds, though that seems out of character.

He set up a skreeking lamentational sound, that brought the attention of another, who circled and then landed beside him…quickly joined by a third. Two of them resumed the same sound, in unison, as they walked circles over our roof, wing to wing. Up one side of the house, over the peak and down the other side. Reappearing further down along the roofline. Allvery comical, as the third bird and I watched, mostly silently, he from his chimney perch and me from the street in front of the garden.

A fourth gull wheeled by overhead and the other three took to the air. I don’t believe they ate any of the stale bread, which seems unusual for them.

Although there were still some serious clouds overhead around sunset, they worked beautifully with the angled light of the sinking sun to create a nice glow in the western sky.

Now, the skies are crystal clear, a million stars glittering like diamonds above. Tomorrow’s going to be a beautiful day.

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